Serena Williams lost her first match since having a baby, but wins at life


Over the New Year’s weekend, Serena Williams played her first match in a year. She had not played in any kind of tournament or exhibition since she won the Australian Open while 8-9 weeks pregnant in January 2017. She gave birth to baby Alexis Olympia on September 1st, then she married Alexis Ohanian a few months later. She posted videos where it seemed like she was still playing tennis while pregnant, but she’s been busy with other stuff since September, obviously.

Anyway, she went to Abu Dhabi for an exhibition – and I would imagine it came with a HUGE paycheck – and she lost to 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko. It was actually a fun vibe – Ostapenko wasn’t going for the jugular, and she clearly idolizes Serena, and Serena’s groundstrokes and shots looked good. She just seemed rusty. She’s still scheduled to play the Australian Open in less than two weeks, and this Abu Dhabi exhibition is the only “tune-up” event on her schedule. My guess is that Serena will make it a few rounds in Melbourne, but she won’t really get going until Miami, probably. And maybe Wimbledon? That’s my hope. Here are some highlights from the exhibition:

To celebrate the new year, Serena posted some Instagram slideshows to take stock of how much had changed for her in one year. All of this is incredibly cute. I’m not even a baby person and I want to cuddle baby Olympia. She’s so beautiful!!

I would like to share another top ten moment of this year. Featuring my husband. He's my rock my backbone my love. I am so lucky to have found this wonderful man that treats me better than a queen. 1. This is where he proposed to me all the way in Rome. At the exact same table we met. 2. He puts up with my incorrigible immaturity 😜 3. I said yes 💍 4. Our first trip as a engaged couple. Little did we know I was 4 weeks pregnant! 😰😳😳 5. Getting ready for the Met Gala 6. Both of us in our @versace_official finest for the Met gala 7. Our baby moon 8. You may now kiss the bride. 9. Alexis first introduce me as his wife 😍😍 10. King and Queen at last. I love you Alexis you make me excited to wake up every morning knowing I'll get to see you. Wedding photos by Mel Barlow and Allan Zepeda @melbarlowandco @allanzepedaphotography

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

Photos courtesy of Serena’s Instagram.

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19 Responses to “Serena Williams lost her first match since having a baby, but wins at life”

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  1. Janet R says:

    Love her and her baby!

    • Phaedra says:

      why is no one yelling at her for saying her year was amazing?
      Or is that only something that Taylor can’t say ?

  2. Louise177 says:

    I don’t know why people are making such a big deal about Serena losing. Athletes are not at their best when coming back from such a long layoff. Although they practice, it’s not the same as competition. If she’s not entered in any warm-up tournaments for the Australian Open, Serena won’t look good for a few matches and might exit early.

    • Cannibell says:

      It’s not as if she has anything to prove in terms of being a tennis powerhouse – that’s well-established. Happy for her – she seems to have found a partner who loves and understands her and they have an adorable baby. Good for all of them!

  3. smcollins says:

    She’s still a world class athlete and one of the all-time best. You win some, you lose some. Now, on to more important things like her beautiful baby daughter! I just wanna squeeze those cheeks! Love the matching hoodies!

  4. Lucy says:

    This is so pure and wholesome. Look at her baby girl!

  5. Snowflake says:

    Her husband seems like a great guy. Down to earth, nice. I think he is an involved daddy. And he’s obviously head over heels in love

  6. Hazel says:

    Does anybody know if Serena’s outfit—below the elbow, below the knee—is because she’s playing in Abu Dhabi, or because it’s cold? Just curious.

    • whatever says:

      Probably because its Abu Dhabi. I’ve seen a lot of female players wear long sleeve tops and those leggings when playing tournaments in the Middle East.

  7. DiegoInSF says:

    I don’t follow any sports but I like her as a celeb, she’s so cute with those emoji. Her husband is hot and tall, don’t understand why some people think he’s dorky.

  8. Leela says:

    Wins at life is right, she seems so happy with her baby!

  9. Monsy says:

    those cheeks hihi . such a cute baby 😍😍😍

  10. Tess says:

    Omg the way he looks at her and kisses her says so much!

  11. NeoCleo says:

    Her baby is adorable!

  12. Menlisa says:

    The way he looks at her! So much love!!

  13. Wisca says:

    I love Serena, but this loss will be helpful for all of the women who feel like failures because it takes them more than a month or two to heal from the challenge of giving birth. Giving birth is hard. The recovery takes time.

  14. Margo S. says:

    I cannot stop smiling after watching all those vids. She is seriously such an incredible woman. Her baby is so beautiful!!!! Such a blessing to have Serena as her mama. So much love for them!

  15. Vovicia says:

    OMG- when he’s carrying her around wrapped up like a burrito. That is so cute – she is just so content being his little baby football.